Gospel Reflection Nov 5 – Fr. Lynch

Sunday, November 5

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 23: 1-12


Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,

“The scribes and the Pharisees

have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.

Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,

but do not follow their example.

For they preach but they do not practice.

They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry

and lay them on people’s shoulders,

but they will not lift a finger to move them.

All their works are performed to be seen.

They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.

They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,

greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’

As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’

You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.

Call no one on earth your father;

you have but one Father in heaven.

Do not be called ‘Master’;

you have but one master, the Christ.

The greatest among you must be your servant.

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;

but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

Gospel Reflection:

This Sunday we celebrate the 31st Sunday of Ordinary time. Four things to consider as we ponder the Gospel of Matthew 23:1-12.

First, we are in the 31st Sunday of OT, “tempest fugit,” (time flies)…It’s never too early to begin preparing for the Advent season so that we may have a fruitful Advent, one of the two penitential seasons in the Church, in preparation for “Emmanuel,” God being with us in the flesh.

Second, in the Gospel, actions often speak louder than words, however, the leaders of the Jews’ words speak louder than their inactions, they “say,” but don’t “do,” as Jesus rightfully points out.

Third, a line in this Gospel is often taken out of context by protestants, as I have heard more than once when I tell people my name is Fr. Tim Lynch, and their response has been, I call no one Father because scripture says so. If that is the case then they cannot call their own parents mother or father, as well as their own grade school teachers cannot be called teachers…and so on. It is a ridiculous argument taken out of context.

Fourth and finally, Jesus teaches in word and in His example that “The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

In another scripture verse, Jesus tells his disciples, “the Son of man came to serve, not to be served.”

May we strive with God’s grace to humbly follow our Lord’s example in serving others, putting others needs before our own, and may our actions align not with our own words, but with Jesus’.

St. Brigid of Kildare…Pray for us!

Father Tim Lynch